I have two questions for you. Do you know your strengths? And are you using them to your advantage? We all have different strengths, whether we believe we have them or not. The trick is to start giving them some much need attention. We give so much focus to our weaknesses, while we take advantage of or neglect our strengths.
I struggle sometimes to identify my strengths, but I could easily give you a long list of my weaknesses. Why is that? We’re so much better off in our businesses, everyday life, and in our relationships if we focus more on the skills we already possess, rather than getting worked up and down about all the ways we come up short.
But how does one identify their strengths? And how do we use them? Here’s some of the ways I believe we can find out more about our strengths and start implementing them more in our lives.
Ask someone else
Sometimes we can’t think of our strengths by ourselves. It might help to ask someone who isn’t in our head all day long giving us a hard time. What do your loved ones think is your best trait? Maybe they’ve told you before? Think about the compliments you’ve received.
So, you might feel a little awkward asking someone else what they love about you. You might be worried that you’ll come off like you’re begging for compliments. Or maybe you’re afraid of what they will say. But, try to muster up the courage to ask anyway. Ask someone you feel comfortable with. Be prepared to tell them what you like about them. Be sure to give this person time to think about the reasons why they appreciate, admire, or enjoy about you.
Read “Strengths Finder 2.0” by Tom Rath
This book is what inspired this post. It shows you the ways in which you can use your five best strengths to your advantage. It helps you to identify those five strengths and gives you ideas on how to best put them into action. If you’re struggling to figure out what you’re good at, this book will be a great resource for you. It gives you a 34 important strength options like adaptability, harmony, and self-assurance. Choose five that you relate to most and learn about how you can use them.
Start small & write a list
Another way to identify your strengths is to think about what you’re good at and start small. Sometimes it’s easier to find the little areas where we excel. Maybe you’re really good at walking your dog or you’re an excellent present wrapper. Start a list of the little things you’re great at. Now, look at that list and go a little deeper. Think about why you’re good at those things. Is it because you’re patient? Is it because you pay attention to detail? There’s always a greater reason why you’re good at particular activities over others. Don’t sell yourself short.
Do some research
Where can you best be putting your strengths to use? Are you currently doing so? If not, why not? It’s a disservice to others and yourself to not be using your gifts on a regular basis. Ask yourself, how can I give more of my gift to others? Look online at careers and opportunities for someone with your skills. Learn how important your strengths truly are and own it. Be confident and proud of your strengths, but remember that it’s important to continue to work at your natural skills. We’re not perfect and we can always improve on the things we’re naturally talented at.
Explore your weaknesses
It’s important for me to talk about weaknesses too. Because while I do think we should focus on our strengths more, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think it was important to focus on our weaker areas as well. If we’re working on bettering ourselves, we’re constantly working to improve the parts of us that we’re not as proud of. Prioritize your weaknesses and focus on only one or two big weaknesses. If we focus on all of our weaknesses, we’re bound to get overwhelmed and do nothing about them.
What is your number one weakness in which you believe your life would be most affected by? Look to start working on just that one and watch your life start to change in all areas.
When we try to do something and we fail the first time we do it, we will oftentimes give up and think that we’re not good at it. The problem with that is, almost always, we need to give something a real chance to know if we are gifted in that area. If we want to develop a strength, we have to exercise it.
At the same time, there are some things that we come across, try again and again, and need to come to terms with the fact that it’s not something we’re naturally gifted at. That’s life. We’re not going to be gifted in all areas. It’s okay to admit that to ourselves and focus more on the things we are good at.
Don’t get so caught up in your weaknesses, because you can always find ways to work around it. Figure out ways you can focus more on your strengths. You’ll be better off if you start to serve people with your God-given talents.
Let us know one strength you possess in the comments section! We’d love to give you a virtual high-five for being awesome.